How Triads work--this passage has several:
Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
The phrase "eight days" in this passage made me think of the rite of circumcision. Seems like a bunny trail but a refreshing one. We are people of the circumcision when we are people of faith. Circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
So, I reviewed some passages about circumcision and came across Philippians 3:3 which describes the circumcised people of God:
For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
What makes us the Circumcised Ones?
1) We worship God in the Spirit
2) We rejoice in Christ Jesus
3) We have no confidence in the flesh
My understanding of why we see so much Truth spoken to us in a triadgel form by the Spirit is that He is speaking to the whole man, bringing the entire scope of our salvation to us when He speaks. We are a tri-parted being: spirit, soul and body. We were designed hand in glove for Truth and the Spirit brings Truth to us in the form needed.
We see the connection above even in the same order as in 1Thessalonians 5:23:
1) = Man's spirit/worship God in the Spirit
2) = Man's soul/rejoice in Christ Jesus (see Psa 35:9 for explanation.)
3) = Man's body/no confidence in the flesh
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation.
Back to the passage in Luke 9--if this is a hint about circumcision, what in the passage shows circumcision?
Circumcision is the cutting away of the unnecessary and a physical sign of ownership by the LORD. The passage shows Jesus circumcising the hearts of His men Peter, John and James by allowing them to see His Kingly glory, see the perfect compatability with the Tanach (Law and Prophets = the O.T.) and to see the momentum of the plan of God to redeem a people for this King! This strips away the insignificant, causes them to fear and grooms them for helping the saints prepare for entrance into the Kingdom. The Kingdom is everything to Jesus and directs everything He ever said and did.
Peter, John and James were familiar with Jesus having spent much time with Him but had never seen Who He was behind the cloaking device of the flesh He was in. Peter was comfortable enough to suggest that they build dwellings for the three heavenly ones possibly to conserve the moment and relish their exalted new status as having seen the great Moses and the great Elijah and the Kingly glory of Jesus.
because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
Luke records that the Father shows up in a cloud and they became fearful. Perfect! Now they're teachable: "Hear Him!" This is a close look at the circumcising of their hearts: to be aware of what is beyond the eyesight; to be aware of the ongoing plan of God; to tremble when He speaks. Now they are getting equipped to serve the Body in preparing us to inherit the Kingdom.
What was the subject of the meeting with Moses and Elijah? What His death was about to accomplish. This shows complete unity of all that was written before and all that was about to be accomplished at Jerusalem. There is no "new" but only "fulfillment". The fact that Moses and Elijah were speaking with Him shows the ongoing relevance of the Law and the Prophets in the establishment of His kingdom to come. The revealed glory was the context of the King in His restored status as the Lord of all, the Supreme King of kings Who is going to be seated in Jerusalem on His throne. He's more than just a Man of miracles. Matthew says:
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.
Moses and Elijah were two men who were mysterious in their translation to the heavens: Moses in that he went to the mountain and the LORD took him or buried him but no one ever saw what became of him. Elijah was simply taken from the face of the planet and never faced death as we know it. Jesus is about to face death like we never will know it--dead due to no sin of His own.
We are called to live a life that we have never known. Make sure you get all your clues and instructions from the words of His mouth. He is giving us all we need for life and godliness and requires that we live on EVERY word that comes out of His mouth.
Think back. Do you look like you believe this? Play the tape of your life as if it were a silent film. By simple observation of your actions, what would you conclude about what your core values are?
Submit to circumcision and reap the benefits of the Spirit's knife in your life.
1) Worship God in the Spirit
2) Rejoice in Christ Jesus
3) Have no confidence in the flesh